Jennifer Lea Reynolds
April 15, 2016
In response to the growing desire by Americans to consume more organic foods, Costco has announced its recent effort to work with farmers to help them buy land and equipment that will enable them to grow organics. The more organics that are grown means the more organics that Costco will be able to supply its customers; Costco will be better poised to meet the growing demand for these healthier foods as a result.
The move is a logical one.
After all, consumer demand is unraveling at seemingly warp speeds – according to the Organic Trade Association, organic food sales have soared from $11.13 billion in 2004 to $35.95 billion in 2014 – a pace that the store is having difficulty keeping up with. “We cannot get enough organics to stay in business day in and day out,” Costco CEO Craig Jelinek told investors at a shareholder meeting.
“Lots of discussions going on” between Costco and farmers
Right now, the plan is only in the beginning stages. At the moment, Costco is working with just one partner on this effort with a plan that involves loaning money to help San Diego-based Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce buy equipment as well as more than 1,000 acres of land in
the Mexican state of Baja California.
“By helping them with financing, we got access to and purchased about 145,000 cases of organic
raspberries that we normally would not have access to,” said Jeff Lyons, Costco’s senior vice president of fresh foods.